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Midwives are specialist nurses who manage the reproductive health of women of childbearing age, including mothers, expectant mothers, and ladies desiring to become pregnant. They are also trained to deal with the healthcare of children up to the age of six.

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), there is an ongoing need for midwives. Currently, Jamaica requires approximately 704 midwives, and the country now operates at nearly 66 per cent of capacity. The MOHW further shared that by 2025, the call for midwives is expected to rise to 1,000 and 1,500 by 2030. To this end, the Government has made efforts to support midwifery in Jamaica.

Programme

The Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC) is an ongoing European Union-sponsored initiative that offers resources and technical support for midwifery institutions and educators in Jamaica. Three approved institutions offer midwifery education, and 185 graduates are produced each year. They are The University of the West Indies, University of Technology Jamaica (UTech) and Kingston School of Nursing.

Regulation

The Nursing Council of Jamaica (NCJ) ensures that there are clear policies in place for the training of midwives and proper regulation of the profession. The NCJ, MOHW, Ministry of Education and Youth, and Ministry of Finance and the Public Service are all stakeholders in this process.

Roles

As outlined in the Nurses & Midwives Regulations, 1966, the functions of midwives include:

• Administering drugs and vaccines under the direct supervision of a medical practitioner
• Inducing labour under the direct supervision of a medical practitioner
• Offering contraceptive services
• Performing basic cancer screenings
• Performing antenatal, intranatal and postnatal care
• Teaching persons about proper healthcare, family planning and nutrition

Requirements

• A minimum of five CSEC/GCE subjects is necessary to enter a midwifery programme. The three compulsory subjects are:
– English Language (CSEC) or Communications Studies (CAPE)
– Biology or Human and Social Biology (CSEC) or Biology (CAPE)
– Mathematics (CSEC) or Pure Mathematics/Applied Mathematics (CAPE)
• The two additional subjects can be selected from the NCJ’s accepted list of subjects.
• Individuals who are registered nurses can pursue a course in post basic midwifery

For additional information, contact:
Ministry of Health and Wellness
10-16 Grenada Way
Kingston 5
Telephone: 876-633-8103 or 876-633-7433
Email: pr@moh.gov.jm
Website: www.moh.gov.jm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themohgovjm
Instagram/Twitter: (@themohgovjm)

Nursing Council of Jamaica
50 Half Way Tree Road
Kingston
Telephone: 876-926-6042 or 876-929-5118
Email: info@nursingcouncil.org.jm
Website: http://ncj.org.jm/

 

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